This is coolbert:
Thanks to the BBC and the tip from Freeper we have the obituary for Mikhail Kalashnikov.
Designer of the famous AK-47 assault rifle.
Kalashnikov through his weapons designs can be properly thought of as one of this most significant persons of the last one hundred years?
"AK47 assault rifle designer Kalashnikov dies at 94"
"The inventor of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, Mikhail Kalashnikov, has died aged 94, Russian officials say."
"The automatic rifle he designed became one of the world's most familiar and widely used weapons.
Its comparative simplicity made it cheap to manufacture, as well as reliable and easy to maintain."
Some comment regarding the AK and Kalashnikov:
* About 100 million AK having been manufactured and in service total. Compared to about 10 million of the American M-16.
* An AK as purchased through the international arms market, legal or otherwise costing about $60 American. An abundance of ammunition also available at low price.
* Kalashnikov perhaps even better known in Russia for his PKM design. That 7.62 mm general purpose machine gun now also used world-wide.
* That debate lasting for decades, which is better, the American M-16 or the Soviet AK, never properly resolved and perhaps never can be. I think the experts give a slight edge to the AK as the "better" weapon for a variety of reasons.
Regrettably so, the AK and the PKM are a prominent factor in many low-intensity conflicts where the participants are only one generation beyond the bows and arrows stage of development. Populations now having at their disposal small arms with tremendous destructive force and used in an indiscriminate manner for the most part, firepower not only available but used without regard to consequences.